Tips For Reviving An Old Brick Wall

Does your home have an old brick wall that is looking a bit worse for wear? Your first thought may be that you need to have it professionally repaired, or maybe even replaced entirely. But that's not always necessary. Sometimes, there are some things you can do on your own to make the brick wall look tidier and more attractive.

Sand the Brick

Over the years, brick can accumulate dirt and start to discolor. You won't get rid of this discoloration by washing it with soap and water, but if you sand away the outer layer of the brick, you'll reveal cleaner brick beneath it, transforming the entire look of your wall. This is a good fix to try if your brick looks discolored, but the mortar itself is still in good shape.

Start with coarse-grade sandpaper, and simply rub down the bricks, one at a time. You should only have to remove a thin layer to see a difference. Use a palm sander if your hand gets tired. When you're done, vacuum up all of your brick dust, and admire your work. (Wear a face mask and goggles during this process to protect yourself.)

Patch the Mortar

Patching the mortar is a big more involved of a project, but it's approachable if you are patient. This is what you need to do if the mortar seems to be crumbling.

Start by chipping away any loose mortar. You should not scrape at it very hard; just knock out any that is loose and partially freeing itself already. 

Next, visit a home improvement store and look for brick mortar in a color that matches the old mortar. Mix up a batch according to the instructions on the package. Usually, you just add a certain amount of water per volume of mortar mix and stir well.

With the mortar prepared, you can use a trowel to wedge it in between the bricks wherever you see missing mortar. Use your fingers to smooth it out as needed. Then, wipe off the surface of the bricks with a soft cloth to remove any excess debris. Let the mortar harden overnight before touching it.

If you do not feel confident repairing mortar yourself, you can always contact a bricklaying company and have them do this work for you. It's not a huge job, and most will do it for you quite affordably in an afternoon.

For more information, contact a brickwork service in your area.